“Not so violent as last year,” the 66 Precinct commander, Deputy Inspector Michael Deddo (pictured above), said about his new command. In the past month, crime was down about 1% and for the year about 3.5%.
But that was pretty much all he had to say about the CompStats at the 66’s Thursday, June 21, Community Council meeting, the last before the summer recess. He described himself as “not one to let the stats rule. They are one tool among many.” The precinct, he emphasized, is “in the customer service business.”
The buzz about him is that he keeps his word. And it looks like D.I. Deddo plans to match action with rep. Complaints frequently voiced at past 66 Community Council meetings and on local blogs appear to be getting the 66’s full attention. He highlighted the precinct’s most recent moves to address long standing issues:
For starters, led by its new executive officer, Captain Sean Finn, the 66 joined with the 70 to conduct two operations against the Coney Island Avenue (CIA) auto-body repair shops whose double-parked vehicles routinely block traffic from Cortelyou Road to Church Avenue. Working with the Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Task Force and Brooklyn Highway Patrol, the precinct wrote 79 summonses.
“We could have written 479 summonses,” D.I. Deddo added, in a nod to the CIA shops’ constant flaunting of the rules. “They have to learn we’re not going away.”
As a sequel to his introduction last month (May 17) of 13 retail florists whose business he said had been affected by illegal street flower vendors, he’d organized another task force to address the problem. Now working with NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs inspectors—the city agency that awards the few available street vendor licenses—the precinct visited 48 locations and issued violations. This was just the first of planned operations to curtail the unlicensed flower sellers.
For the last year, one woman, frazzled by the early morning horn honking that the private yellow school buses indulge in to alert students to their arrival, has come to every 66 Precinct Community Council meeting asking—even begging—the police to make them stop. Again, D.I. Deddo has “dug deeper” into the issue, broken it down to its component parts—including who the bus drivers report to and their instructions—and issued summonses.
In other precinct news: The first call about the swastika graffiti came in to the precinct around 5:30 a.m., Friday, June 15, about 3 hours after the 5 swastikas were found spray-painted on buildings along 16th and 18th avenues. With surveillance videotape in hand, the precinct is investigating all theories: that it was only the 2 young men shown in the video who painted all 5 or it could be 5 separate people. The NYPD has assigned extra Community Affairs officers to help the 66 unravel this crime/s.
A Kensington woman who lives in an apartment above Denny’s complained about the men enjoying the Kensington Plaza’s benches at Church Avenue and Beverley Road. They “sit there late at night and smoke,” often until 1 a.m. The men, she insists, “think you’ve given them permission to loiter.” Whether true or not, the men—“It’s all men,” she said—make her “nervous,” while the noise and smoke disturb her sleep.
Exploding manhole covers are endangering Boro Park’s streets. The heat caused three to erupt that day. Call the precinct immediately if you see steam or smoke rising from manhole covers, D.I. Deddo advised, and stay far away from them.
The 66 Precinct will hold this year’s celebration of The National Night out Against Crime on Tuesday, August 7, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at dusk at Gravesend Park’s Vaccaro Playground, located at 18th Avenue and 57th Street. From Kensington, take the F train to Avenue I (or 18th Avenue) and walk 14 minutes to the park (or 18 minutes from 18th Avenue, according to Hop Stop).
The next NYPD 66 Community Council will meet Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m., at Community Board 12’s offices, 5910 13th Avenue. For more information and an agenda, call the 66 at (718) 851–5601.